As many of you know, we were blessed with our second grandson last spring. According to our eldest grandson, I will be homeschooling his brother as well so when I had the opportunity to review MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTNERS by PandaParents, I thought it would be a good idea to get my head back into this age of learning.
At first glance, this series seemed a little chaotic to me but after sharing it with some of the little cousins (and grandson #2 who is a little young for it) I found the videos were fun for the littlest ones in the group. They seem to like the bright colours and squeaky voices (a bit like listening to other little ones). Some of the videos were quite long for kids of that age and we found they lost interest before the story was done and I don’t know about your children but mine always liked to start a picture book at the beginning so it would be tough to read it over several days.
We were provided with three different “courses”, each meant to be used for a month. Mommy Baby, Scotty Skunk Hears a Scary Sound, and A Jolly Jingling Journey (a Christmas themed lesson) each come with a video, storybook, and workbook.
The first thing I noticed (and appreciated) was the videos are on Vimeo so I was able to download them onto my tablet for the little ones to watch offline (I have to be honest, we used the videos more than anything since I was borrowing children since I didn’t have any in the house to fit the best age range).
Although this program is designed to get little ones away from simply learning on screens, I didn’t print any of the worksheets since they are very brightly coloured and not the easiest on my little printer.
That said, I understand you can order a physical storybook and workbook set that I think would have worked better for us.
I did have a look through the workbooks and I think little ones will have fun with the sticker pages (see sticker image above) once they receive the physical books. It is nice that they cover more than one topic and integrate with both the storybook and the accompanying video.
The simple graphics are easy for little ones to understand but some of the colouring pages may be a bit of a challenge due to the detail included (although it depends on the child and their small motor skills) so this might be something you can work on together (or something to keep little ones busy with their own schoolwork while you concentrate on teaching their older siblings).
The PandaParents website has a lot of information regarding their philosophy of teaching and learning, including this video that outlines their concept of M.E.S.S.Y. Learning.
Overall, I like that this program works to integrate various subjects and introduce S.T.E.M. to preschool and kindergarten-aged children. There are definitely different levels within the program, including parts of the workbooks that I think would be best for the older end of the group.
While there are many good points to this program, I don’t think it would be a good fit for our family even once the baby gets older. The overall style of the drawings and video aren’t what we normally look for (ok, I admit it, I love the classics and my girls were brought up on Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck and the voices on the videos drove them a little crazy) but I know others will love them.
I encourage you to visit the link below to hear from other Crew families about their experience with this fun learning product.